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Friends and former students invited to celebrate longtime Borger educator’s 80th Birthday

July 2, 2011

Friends and former students are invited to a 80th Birthday reception for longtime Borger Coach and Educator Gene Bryan. The reception will take place next Sunday, July 10th from 2:00-4:00 p.m. in the Garden Room at First United Methodist Church. COURTESY PHOTO

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by Edith Guynes Stanley
For those that grew up going to school here in Borger, there is a pretty good chance that in at least one of those years you were a student of Coach Bryan’s.
This Sunday, July 3rd, Frankie Gene Bryan will celebrate his 80th birthday.
To celebrate the milestone, former students and friends of Bryan’s in the community are invited to come out and help celebrate next Sunday, July 10th from 2:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. in the Garden Room of the First United Methodist Church.
The party is being hosted by Edith Stanley and Porter and Mary Jo Smith.
Bryan finished high school at the age of 16 in Whitney, a town Bryan describes as being as innocent as “Little House on the Prairie’s” Walnut Grove.
When Bryan turned 17, he started at Baylor University in the fall of 1948, where he said he was a little too young and wide-eyed for college at the time, leading him to join the military. Bryan served in the Navy for 45 months and then returned to Baylor where he received a Master’s Degree in 1958.
Due to the job market not being so hot, Bryan took a job with a drug company. He was getting ready for a career with the company when the placement office at Baylor called and told him about a teaching job in Borger.
At the time Bryan had no idea what he was getting into, where he was going and had no idea that Borger would be where he would call home.
Bryan decided to see what the job in Borger was all about, so he got in his immaculate green and white 1955 Ford Fairlane and drove to Borger using only 13 quarts of oil. He arrived in Borger about midnight and pulled into the Round the Clock restaurant.  He had no place to stay, but a policeman was there and directed him to a motel that was behind the Spudnut Shop.  He spent the night, got up the next morning to find little beads of carbon black on his car, went to interview for the job with Dr. J. P. Little, got in that beautiful car and drove back to Waco to get the oil problem fixed and wait for a call.  The call came while he was on his way back to Waco, so he immediately turned around and headed back to Borger—the Carbon Black Capital of the World!  
His first job was at Bunavista Elementary School as the PE teacher and assistant 7th grade football coach with Roy Stone at Sam Houston Jr. High. With the 1959-60 school year, he moved to the new Stephen F. Austin school to teach 8th grade American History and coach the freshman football team as an assistant.  The guys on that team went on to play in the state championship game in 1962.
The next year, Bryan became the assistant principal at SF Austin and was there until it became a middle school in 1972.  He then moved across the lot to Davy Crockett where he called himself the athletic director—i.e. PE teacher.  In 1989, he moved back to the middle school where he was the 5th grade PE teacher.  During this time, he had the Hot Peppers jump rope team. 
Bryan taught in the Borger school district until his retirement in 2001.  He taught in the Borger schools a total of 43 years.  He is enjoying retirement, but he will always miss the kids and many of his teacher friends.  He touched many lives in these years and he loves seeing his former students out and about with families of their own! 
Bryan is a member of the First United Methodist Church where he has served in several different capacities.  He has been a member of Lions Club for 30 years.  He is a member of the Hutchinson County Child Abuse Board.
Everyone is invited to come and be a part of Bryan’s 80th birthday celebration!  Light refreshments will be served.  For more information about the celebration, contact Edith Stanley at 273-9206.

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